Frequently Asked Questions : including application information and roles within the 2021 Census


Census Recruitment Coming To An End

I have just received an email that I was unsuccessful for a 2021 Census field position.  Can you tell me why?

  • The ABS received a very positive response for Census field roles.
  • Candidates may not have been offered a role for number of reasons:
  • many applicants were considered suitable for the role however were not successful in gaining a position due to the volume of applications received in their local area,
  • not meeting the essential requirement of the role such as availability,
  • not completing all the steps of the recruitment process.

Thank you for the time and effort that you put into your application. It was very encouraging to see such a strong field of applicants expressing their interest to work on the 2021 Census.

I have signed a contract and have not started work but have just received notification that there is no further work.

  • The ABS requires a Census temporary workforce with the flexibility to scale up and down as the work fluctuates.
  • All contracts are Casual contracts and there is no guarantee of regular or ongoing work.
  • The 2021 Census field operations are coming to an end and there is no further Census field work available in your area.

I signed my contract a while ago. What happened?

  • The ABS Census required a temporary workforce with the flexibility to scale up and down as the work fluctuated.
  • All contracts were Casual contracts and there was no guarantee of regular or ongoing work.
  • The 2021 Census field operations are coming to an end and there is no further Census field work available in your area.
  • If you would like to request feedback on your application, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I signed a contract why can’t you honour that?

  • All contracts were Casual contracts and there was no guarantee of regular or ongoing work.
  • The 2021 Census field operation is coming to an end and there is no further Census field work available in your area.
  • We thank you for the time and effort that you put into your application.

Can I get feedback on my application?

You can request written feedback by emailing Adecco at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Can I speak to someone in the ABS about my application?

  • The ABS has appointed Adecco to assist in the recruitment of the 2021 Census temporary workforce.
  • Adecco are responsible for sourcing and recommending candidates for employment by the ABS.
  • All enquiries for Census recruitment are handled by Adecco. You can request feedback by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Are you still accepting any applications for field roles? 

The ABS currently requires candidates willing to assist with the 2021 Census in the Northern Territory. If you are located in the NT and interested in working on the 2021 Census, you can find out more and apply for a role through the current vacancies page at Current Vacancies (

I applied for other roles; have I also been rated unsuccessful for them?

At this time, recruitment is ongoing for field roles in the Northern Territory. For all other field roles across Australia, recruitment is now complete.

Are there any other opportunities with the ABS or Adecco? 

We encourage you to visit the following websites to discover further employment opportunities:

  • Adecco jobs at
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics by visiting
  • Australian Public Service jobs at

I had a police check conducted, can I request a copy of the police check results?

You can request a copy from Australia Post.

Phone:                  13 POST (13 76 78)


How can I lodge a complaint? 

All complaints should be directed by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Before Application  

How do I apply for a position? 

All applications are submitted via our Adecco Census Jobs webpage  


Can I just email you my resume?  

No. All candidates must complete the application form online. 

It is past Census night, why do you still need to recruit?

Census night is the main event, however there is still work to be done. We require field and office based staff to assist to deliver a successful 2021 Census. If you would like to know more about the opportunities still available, please contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 1300 233 445. If you are interested in one of these roles you can learn more and apply on the current vacancies page at

Who is Adecco? 

Adecco Australia is providing a recruitment service to assist the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) with a temporary workforce solution to help deliver a successful Census across Australia on Tuesday 10 August 2021


How do I contact Adecco? 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Phone: 1300 233 445 


How do I contact the ABS? 

If your question is in relation to recruitment for the 2021 Census, we are happy to assist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For other enquiries, please go to for contact details.  


I am not an Australian Citizen - Can I still apply to work at the Census?  

Yes. If you have the legal right to work in Australia, and can provide evidence of this, you can still apply for a Census role. Applicants who are not Australian citizens may be considered in situations where citizens with the skills required to perform certain duties are not available.

Why do you need information such as my racial origin? 

These questions are optional. If you choose not to supply this information your application can still be submitted and will be assessed.

I have a criminal record. Can I still apply to work at the Census? 

Yes. A criminal record does not exclude you from applying to work on the Census. In some cases, additional information will be required for you to be considered for the role.


What is the RecruitAbility Scheme: an opportunity for job applicants with a disability. 

The Recruitability scheme is an optional program that aims to support applicants with a disability participate in recruitment and selection processes.

For more information see the Australian Public Service Commission’s RecruitAbility webpage at 


My first language is not English. Can I still apply to work at the Census? 

Yes. Adecco and ABS welcome candidates from diverse cultures and backgrounds. However, you must be able to communicate in English both verbally and in written form to be considered. 


Are there any qualifications or experience required for these roles? 

For certain roles, a certain skill set, qualification or experience is required to be successful for that position. Where this is required, it will be specified in the job description.


Will there be training for the roles? 

Yes. All roles will offer training prior to commencing work. Details of the training will be provided either in the job description, during the recruitment process or immediately prior to commencing.

Where is the classroom training held? 

Your supervisor will book a suitable venue that is local to your area of work. They will advise you of the details closer to the training dates

Who can I talk to regarding my training and/or training schedule? 

Your training queries need to be emailed to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or please call us on 1300 233 445. We can then direct your question to the people best equipped to handle your training concerns. 

What is the application process? 

That will depend on the role you apply for.

You may view the recruitment process for each role in the job description, so that you are able to decide if this role suits you.  

You must complete a basic screening and medical questionnaire for any role you apply for. This step forms part of your application for the role and must be completed when you submit your applicaiton.

If you are successful in your application we will send you a link to complete your pre-employment screening which includes a National Police Check.

For some roles you may be asked to complete a one-on-one interview, attend an assessment centre, and have reference checks completed.
* There is no cost to you to complete these checks.  


Who am I employed by? 

If successful, you will be temporarily employed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).   

Can current ABS staff apply?   

Yes. Current staff can  apply. Please ensure you have discussed your intentions with your manager and receive their support, the normal application process will apply.   

Is there any contact with the public? 

All field staff roles will have contact with the public.   

Is there flexibility in the hours I work? 

For field roles you will be required to work varying hours and will be required to work weekends. You will not always be working within typical business hours as the role will require work to be done anytime between 8:30 am - 8:00 pm during weekdays and anytime between 9:30 am - 8:30 pm on weekends. Office based roles will have the hours defined in the job description.

Can I only work some days of the week (ie: 4 out of 7 days a week)?

No, you will need to refer to the dates and times of availability when considering your suitability for each role. 

I will not be able to work on a Saturday, but I can work all other days, will this be acceptable?

Please refer to the role description. Field Managers: You will be required to work a mix of weekdays between 8.ooam to 8:00pm, and weekends between 9:00am to 8:00pm. Due to the nature of the work, the Field Manager roles are generally not suited to those already working full-time. 

As a Field officer you may also be required to work a mix of weekdays between 8:00am to 8:00pm, and weekends between 9:00am to 8:00pm. 

Is there a minimum age for these positions? 

Yes, the minimum age for employment is 18. 


How long will I be employed?  

The length of your contract will depend on the role you are successfully offered employment for. Your offer of employment will specify the dates your employment contract begins and ends. 


Can I apply for other roles within the ABS? 

Yes, all vacancies for employment at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) are advertised on the ABS Careers page at


Non-ongoing employment registers  

The ABS have a number of non-ongoing temporary employment registers open to register your interest for temporary work. See


Reasonable Adjustment

The ABS is committed to having an accessible and inclusive workplace. Adecco will facilitate requests for reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process. Candidates will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustment to assist with the application process and other selection process activities (if required).


Access to a mobile device 

All field roles will require that you have a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet with reliable internet connection. You must be comfortable entering data into specific apps. Field Staff:
.         if Android, the operating system must be Android 8 (Oreo) or higher
·         if Apple, the operating system must be iOS 13.1 or higher must have, in addition a mobile device for work in the field
·         must also have access to a computer or tablet with internet connection to complete your online training and monitor and manage your
          work progress
·         must be comfortable using this device to enter data into ABS applications as part of your role
·         must have a reliable mobile internet connection 
·         must have SIM-based incoming voice call capability (i.e. have a phone number)
·         must not have a device that has been rooted/jailbroken
·         should be either an Apple or Android device. Other devices may not support Census field work applications.

Will I need to have my own hand-held device? 

Yes, you will be expected to have and use your own mobile device for Census field work.  In some remote and very remote areas this may be negotiable but will be considered on a case by case basis.

Do I require an ergonomic aid for my mobile to use in the field?

No. If you do have a personal ergonomic aid, you are welcome to use it.

Travel Requirements 

Field Officers and Mobile Field Representatives may have to travel up to 1 hour or farther from your home across various work areas.  


When will I be notified if I am successful for a role? 

Applicants will be advised by email if they are successful in their application, and will be offered a contract by email.

When applying can I use my work email address? 

It is important that you provide your own unique personal email address rather than an email address that you have with another employer.

Can I use someone else's email address? 

No, the email address must be your own unique personal email.  

How many first nations people have applied for jobs in this year's Census?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been encouraged to apply for all Census roles and there are several positions currently available in rural and urban areas across Australia.
It is important to the ABS that the Census workforce reflects the diversity of Australian communities. After the 2021 Census has concluded, there will be an evaluation of the recruitment process. General outcomes will be published then.

Australia Post

Can I submit my own current Police Clearance if I have one? 

No. A Police Clearance is a ‘point in time’ check and is completed for all candidates as a part of the application process. It is also a part of the identity check, and the right to work check.  This check will be completed at no cost to you. 

I received an SMS reminder, but didn’t receive my AusPost invitations for the identification/National Police Check? 

Some systems’ security  firewall don’t  recognise the invitations and may place them in your spam or junk email folders. Make sure to check your spam or junk email folders first.    

I can’t submit my identification (ID) online?   

There are some identification documents that  Australia Post  can’t verify online, and their website provides details on this. In this instance it can be verified instore at Australia Post.   

Why have I been asked to go to an Australia Post store?  

In some cases, if the Australia Post online identification verification team is unable to verify your documents online, you may be asked to visit an Australia Post location. Here an Australia Post employee can assist you in verifying the documents in person.  

What happens if I enter the wrong information on my National Police Check application?  

Before you lodge your application at the Post Office or submit it online, make sure your information is correct and up to date.  Contact Australia Post if you have submitted incorrect information.   

Before submitting your Australia Post application:  

Check all your names (given name, surname / family name, middle name)  and specify if you’re known by any other names. 
Check all spelling is correct. 
Check all identification document details are correct, including document numbers. 
Check your contact details are correct. 
Review everything to make sure all your information is as it appears on your ID documents. 

Correcting your certificate  

Once the National Police Check has been initiated, we’re not able to edit your application. 

What if my police check is incorrect? 

If you receive your National Police Check certificate and you notice that any of the details are incorrect, you need to follow the dispute process with Australia Post to have a correct certificate issued.  All the details are available on the Australia Post website. 

I have received a copy of my National Police Check in my email, do I need to send you a copy? 

No. There is no need to send a copy of the National Police Check. 

I have been advised that I need to supply more documentation around my Citizenship status? 

Following changes to Australian citizenship laws on 20 August 1986 (responsibility of the Department for Immigration and Border Protection – now Department of Home Affairs), the evidence you need to show that you are an Australian citizen depends on whether you were born in Australia before, on or after 20 August 1986, or if you were born overseas. All the details required are available on Australia Post website. 

Exceptional Circumstances – National Police Check 

Candidates who are unable to meet the minimum identification level of requirements, may apply for exceptional circumstances through Australia Post. Australia Post will advise of other documents that may be provided in order to meet the required identification needs. 
Exceptional circumstances are normally limited to people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds and rural locations. All details are available on the Australia Post website.

What will I need to complete a National Police Check? 

All the document requirements to complete the National Police Check are outlined on the Australia Post website.

Who can I speak to regarding issues using the AusPost online portal? 

If you are having continued issues using the AusPost online portal, you can contact Australia Post Customer Contact Centre directly on 137678


Do I need to complete the Revelian assessment? 

Yes. For some roles as a part of the application process, you must complete all assessment requirements before moving through the recruitment process for a position. 

Can I do the Revelian assessment again? 

No. The Revelian assessment results are active for 12 months and cannot be completed again within that time. If you applied for a role during the Census test in 2020, and completed a Revelian assessment, you will receive a request by email to have your result applied to your application.   

There was an issue with my computer when doing the assessment? 

Please read the helpful information provided to you on the Revelian invite. If you aren’t able to resolve your question with that information, you will need to contact the Revelian helpdesk on 1300 137 937.

Assessment Centre 

Will I be required to attend an Assessment Centre? 

Certain roles may require you to attend an assessment centre as part of the application process. Additional information will be provided to you during the application process.

I have been invited to an Assessment Centre - what will that entail? 

An assessment centre may involve a group session to learn more about the role, an activity and also a 1 on 1 interview. This will take between one and two hours in total. 

I am unable to attend an Assessment Centre  

 In order to assess you fairly against other candidates it is important you attend an assessment centre. Please contact us so we can discuss your options on 1300 137 937  

I did not show up for my Assessment Centre – what will happen? 

If you did not attend your assessment centre, you may be unable to continue with your application. You will still be able to apply for other roles in the future. Please contact us so we can discuss your options further.

Can I apply for another role? 

Yes you can. All roles are available on

Reference Checks 

I don’t have anyone to put as a referee – what should I do? 

Referees can be a former/current manager, or a personal referee such as a community leader. Please think about who knows you and could comment about your suitability for the role.    

Can I use a personal/character referee? 

Yes, if you do not have a professional referee.  

How will my referee be contacted? 

You will be required to submit details for your referee in a program called Referoo.
Once these details have been entered an email will be sent to your nominated referee. You will be able to see when the reference has been completed.
As this is a digital recruitment process, referees will only be contacted via email, we will not be able to support written letters or phone calls.


How is my contract issued? 

Your contract is issued via an email from Adecco. You will receive a unique link in this email allowing you to access the contract. You can accept the role offered to you by digitally signing your contract by using your desktop computer, laptop, tablet or notebook.

I am unable to sign the document – what should I do? 

Please ensure you are signing your contract on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or digital notebook. You may not be able to sign your document on your mobile phone. If issues persist please call us on 1300 233 445


Will I be a permanent or ongoing employee?  

No, your contract details the period of employment, which means you are classed as a temporary, or non-ongoing employee.  

Will I be reimbursed for my data usage costs?  

An allowance for using your own data forms part of the Census Incidental Allowance (CIA) and is detailed in your conditions of employment.
A fixed Census Incidental Allowance (CIA) of $27.17 will be paid to all Field Managers, Mobile Field Representatives and Field Officers fortnightly over the life of the contract. This will cover expenses such as mobile and home phone use and data usage (phone and home internet). These allowances apply to field roles only. 

I have been issued a contract, but I am no longer interested in the role – what should I do?

You can decline in the contract itself, or send a separate email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we know you are sure you do not want a role. It would be great if you could provide an explanation as to why you are no longer able to continue with the role.

ABS Employment Information

Who do I work for?

You work for the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the duration of your employment contract.

What is my rate of pay?

You will find your rate of pay on your employment contract. If you have lost your contract please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

What will I be doing in my role?

Please refer to your employment contract for a description of your duties. If you have lost your contract, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is an Undertaking of Fidelity and Secrecy and when do I have to sign it?

The Undertaking of Fidelity and Secrecy becomes part of your employment agreement. It states that you are employed under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and that you understand all information you are collecting is protected, and as an ABS Officer you will uphold those protections. This undertaking continues to apply even after you have finished work with the ABS. More information will be provided during online and face to face training.   

How do I resign from my role?

As you are employed by the ABS your resignation must be submitted directly to the ABS. Please refer to the ABS Knowledge Base for 'how to resign' content.   

Can I take my dog with me while conducting field work?  

No. As part your employment Work Health and Safety considerations, field staff are not allowed to take their pets (dogs or otherwise) with them while conducting their work.  

Can I drive around the workload instead of walking?

Yes, however this mode of transportation should not be relied on for all parts of the work.  There may be some circumstances where you will be required to walk around.  If you are successful in your application and have any concerns about this, please discuss this with your Field Manager.

Can I bring another person in to the field with me when doing work? 

No, however, if you feel your personal safety is at risk when entering an area of your workload and you wish to be accompanied by another employee, you need to contact Field Operations Management to discuss.
Nothing is more important than your safety. Upon entering a work area, if you observe unmanageable hazards, feel threatened or unsafe, leave the situation immediately. Please contact your Field Operations Management and discuss the risk to personal safety to assess if another authorised officer should accompany you.

Can I take a newborn/child in the field? 

Due to the requirements of the role, Field Managers and Field Officers are not permitted to take anyone else (such as a family member or friend) with them when they carry out Census field work.

I am working in the field; do I accrue leave? 

No, for Field Staff employed under the Determination, your hourly rate of pay includes a loading of 25%, which is in lieu of paid leave and payment for public holidays. 

How large are the boxes going to be?

The Private Dwelling Carton and Non-Private Dwelling Carton are both 23 x 33 x 13 cm and weigh no more that 9 kg. The Field Managers will receive about one and a half pallets of materials in total (but it will vary).  

What will the ABS do to ensure the safety of staff?  

The ABS is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy environment and takes its obligations seriously. This also extends to field staff working outside ABS offices.
A range of health and safety procedures have been put in place for the Census period and will be explained during training.

I have an old car and the locks on the door don't work, is that secure enough? 

No, confidentiality and security of Census information is paramount, and an unsecured vehicle would place the field staff at risk of breaching confidentiality.

For confidentiality reasons, field staff must be prepared to work alone and will not be permitted to take anyone with them except when accompanied by another authorised ABS staff member.

Is a driver's licence from another country acceptable? 

Yes. Please refer to the road transport authority in your state to confirm the requirements of driving with an overseas license.

I don’t have a drivers licence will this affect my chances?

For Office based Census work, a driver’s licence is not mandatory, however for field work, you must hold and maintain a valid driver’s license for the duration of your employment. For confidentiality reasons, field staff must be prepared to work alone and are not be permitted to take anyone with them except when accompanied by another authorized ABS staff member.

It does not say that you require a vehicle, so do I need one?

As per the requirements of this role, all employees will need to have access to a vehicle for the purpose of undertaking the duties of the role. The vehicle will need to be legally registered and comprehensively insured.

How is the car allowance calculated?

The allowance is the total payment for using your car for Census work. It is calculated per kilometre traveled. The ABS will not pay for any additional expenses. Additional information will be provided by the ABS as a part of onboarding. MVA (Motor Vehicle Allowance) is determined by the APSC.

What does the Australian Bureau of Statistics do?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has been Australia’s official national statistical agency for over 100 years.
The ABS provides statistics on a wide range of economic, social, population and environmental matters, covering government, business, and the community. For further information refer to

Is there any possibility of job/role sharing? (As an example, some staff have asked if they can share a role with their husband/wife/partner.)

No, due to many restrictions this is not possible.

What training will I get? 

You will be provided with all the training required for the role you are successfully employed for. 

Field roles will include field procedures and concepts, responsibilities of being in the field, using a hand-held device, map reading and work health and safety. Completion of your on-line and face-to-face training is mandatory.  You will need to complete online training in the first few days of your employment, followed by a face-to-face training session. You will be advised when and where your face-to-face training will be.  

When will I be trained? 

Office based roles will receive training within contracted dates, and you will be advised of the requirements. Field Staff will receive advice of their training dates in line with the role they have applied for.

Will the ABS use the information collected on the device for any other purpose? 

No, it is important to the ABS that you know how we collect, use, and disclose your data based on the Privacy Laws.  The ABS will not use the information gathered by the mobile app, security container, device, or any other means for any reason other than those explicitly stated in the disclosure statement.


Will the ABS have protection measures in place for field staff in relation to COVID-19?

The safety of all staff is important to the ABS. There will be a focused effort to protect staff and the community from the further spread of COVID-19.

The ABS has protection measures in place for field staff following the guidelines set out by the Australian Government Department of Health, including:

Practicing good hygiene
Practicing physical distancing
Following the limits for public gatherings
Understanding when to isolate yourself if you need to, and
Getting tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19

Will the ABS provide additional training for field staff in relation to COVID-19?

Yes additional training related to COVID-19 is provided.

What should I do if I feel sick or unwell?

Staff should not attend training, be in the office or be working in the field when showing any signs of illness.
If staff feel unwell they should;
remain at home
immediately contact their supervisor
advise their supervisor if they are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms and/or COVID-19 like symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.

If a member of staff has cold or flu-like symptoms or COVID-19 like symptoms, they should;
seek medical advice and get tested for COVID-19
get tested even if the symptoms are mild

If any member of staff has tested positive to COVID-19, they must isolate and follow the directions of their local Public Health Unit.

More information is publicly available on the Australian Government Department of Health Website:

Will field staff still be required to attend face-to-face training sessions?

Yes, face-to-face training will still be conducted. Training will comply with guidelines set out by the Australian Government and State Health Departments. 

Will I be required to wear a face mask?

All staff will be supplied face masks, if mandated by individual jurisdictions they must be worn otherwise it is a personal preference for you to wear a face mask whilst undertaking field work.

What should I do if I have come in contact with someone I think has COVID-19?

If you believe that you have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, advise your supervisor immediately and comply with guidelines set out by the Australian Government and State Health Departments.

Can I attend face- to- face training virtually?

Unless you are advised otherwise by the ABS, you will be required to attend your face-to-face training session in person. All staff attending the sessions will be required to adhere to physical distancing guidelines and good hygiene practises.

Do I have to download the contact tracing app for this job?

The ABS encourages all field staff to assist in contact tracing by adherring to Local and State Government advice for contact tracing.

How will my pay be impacted if I get the job and need to self-isolate or contract COVID-19?

The ABS has special provisions for casual employees who are required to isolate due to COVID-19 exposure or who contract the virus, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community and workplace. Please contact your supervisor for additional information.